The City of Zefat

Historic Zefat

Zefat Academic College is a located at the gateway to the historic city of Zefat, which is one of the four holy cities in Israel, and is known as the global center of Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah). The city’s illustrious history can be traced from the ancient world to its revered sixteenth century mystics and turn-of-the-twentieth-century Zionist pioneers.

During Zefat’s “Golden Era" at the 16th century, the city established itself as a center of Kabbalah and Jewish philosophy. This happened as a result of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, which led many rabbinic masters - like Kabbalah luminary Isaac Luria, and Shlomo Alkabetz, poet of the Sabbath Hymn Lecha Dodi – to Zefat and thus turned it into a main center for Jewish learning. Many important legal codes were written in Zefat, like Shulkhan Aruch, as well as many Shabbat songs and piyutim (religious poetry) were inspired by this special place that throughout history, has always had a cultural and intellectual influence on Jewish life.  

The contemporary city of Zefat is steeped in the heritage of the sacred literature and poetry of great Jewish rabbis, philosophers and mystics of the past who made enduring contributions to Jewish heritage and culture.


Today, 45% of the city's population is composed of the Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community.